When Intel launched its Sandy Bridge CPU line-up earlier this year, it released a large collection of models in order to leave as few gaps in the price-ranges as possible, and as long as you weren’t looking for a true high-end product, there was little to complain about (ahem, perhaps aside from certain chipset issues). But what about the enthusiast, and their wants and needs?
That’s where the Sandy Bridge-E line-up comes in. As Ryan posted last month, there will be three models available at launch; two six-core unlocked parts, and a locked quad-core part. It had been expected that these CPUs would be priced according to Intel’s enthusiast pricing scheme, and Singapore-based tech site VR-Zone backs that up.
According to the site, the quad-core Core i7-3820 will replace the current “low-end” Core i7s hovering around the ~$300 mark, and will be priced at $294. Replacing the Core i7-980X will be the i7-3930K, taking over its price-point of $583, while the big gun Core i7-3960X will replace the i7-990X, settling into the $999 price tag.
In all, this pricing is none too surprising, as Intel has been retaining the same general structure for a while. What is a bit interesting, however, is something else the site posted about the same launch. From what the folks there have learned, Intel is not going to be shipping these processors with a CPU cooler. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
Intel’s strong-suit has never been with its CPU coolers. While it tried to impress with the bulkier cooler it first included with the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, it just didn’t cool as well as the rest. So what’s the point of including it? Further, most enthusiasts who build a PC using higher-end parts almost never opt to use the CPU cooler that’s included, so again, what’s the point? Instead of wasting resources, Intel can forgo including a CPU cooler while reducing the hit on revenue it takes when selling its processors. It can also save the user the hassle of figuring out what to do with a CPU cooler they’ve inhereted but don’t quite need.
Sandy Bridge-E might not be quite as exciting as Ivy Bridge will be, but with the specs the CPUs are promised to have, this launch is going to be mighty interesting.